Ruben Cantu

RubÈn Cant˙ has been a journalist since 1995. He is the managing editor of the Del Rio News-Herald. Contact him at ruben.cantu@delrionewsherald.com

If you thought we were going to have a winner in the presidential election by now, you must be disappointed. I know I am. As of press time a few states are still uncalled for, with election officials rushing to count ballots in Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia. Arizona’s election has been called by a couple of major organizations, but there is still a possibility of things changing there.

In Clark County, Nevada, election officials stated Friday morning they still had 63,000 mail-in ballots to tally, in addition to 60,000 provisional ballots (ballots cast that needed some form of curation such as being validated with an ID).

In fact, Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria referred to those ballots as the two “biggest chunks of ballots we still need to count,” implying that although it may not be a significant number, there are still other ballots needing to be counted.

As of Friday afternoon, in Nevada, there is a difference of 21,000 votes between Democratic candidate Joe Biden and Pres. Trump, so those 123,000-plus votes can very well define the fate of the presidential race.

In Pennsylvania, election officials were still counting absentee and mail-in votes on Friday, with the state’s 20 electoral votes at stake.

In Georgia, Biden reversed Trump’s early lead, and with the vast majority of the votes counted both candidates still remained within the one percentage point needed to trigger a recount.

As of Friday not one but both of the U.S. Senate seats in The Peach State seemed to be heading into a runoff, with Democrat Jon Ossoff trying to unseat Republican Sen. David Perdue, and Democrat Raphael Warnock facing off against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

The fate of the presidential race and control of the U.S. Senate are, at best, unclear.

Things right now are not looking good for Trump, who still needs to win four states to get to the 270 electoral votes needed to win his re-election bid, while Biden only needs one state to be elected the next president of the United States.

Locally, the election results are also interesting and deserve some space.

Unlike four years ago, this year Val Verde County voted red in the presidential election.

In 2020 Trump received 7,839 votes, according to unofficial results, for a total of 54.3 percent of the votes cast, vs. 6,401 votes for Biden (44.3 percent). In 2016 Val Verde voted for Hillary Clinton, who got 6,920 votes (50.6 percent) while Trump only garnered 5,865 (42.9 percent).

In district races the State Senate District 19, which incumbent Republican Pete Flores flipped two years ago turning it red for the first time in an unlikely race against former Rep. Pete Gallego, went back to the Democrats with State Rep. Roland Gutierrez, a San Antonio attorney, taking over the seat in the upper chamber.

The Texas House District 74 seat, currently occupied by Democratic Rep. Poncho Nevarez of Eagle Pass, remained blue, with another attorney also from Eagle Pass, Eddie Morales, defeating Republican candidate Ruben Falcon of Ft. Stockton.

Republicans, however, clinched an unlikely win in the person of Tony Gonzales, a retired Navy intelligence officer who overcame his underdog status to get elected to replace Rep. Will Hurd in the U.S. House, 23rd District of Texas.

Hurd, a Republican who did not run for re-election, won a nail-bitter in 2018 against Democratic candidate Gina Ortiz Jones. Jones handily carried the 2020 Democratic primary in her second try at the seat, but her momentum from 2018 and the 2020 primary did not carry through this year’s general election.

In the City of Del Rio election a runoff is in the making, after the three-way run for councilperson at-large Place A between incumbent Diana Bejarano Salgado and challengers Steven T. Webb and Mario Bosquez failed to yield a 50-percent-plus-one majority for any of the candidates.

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Rubén Cantú has been a journalist since 1995. He is the managing editor of the Del Rio News-Herald. Contact him at ruben.cantu@delrionewsherald.com